London 1 - Durward Street, Whitechapel.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
GM
 GM, 16 posts
Sun 29 Oct 2017
at 11:29
London 1 - Durward Street, Whitechapel
It's after midnight by the time you arrive in Whitechapel, part of London's famed 'East End'. A thick fog has rolled up from the Thames and blankets the warrens of narrow, dark streets which you have to work your way through. Perhaps thankfully, given the reputation of the area, you pass very few others abroad this night.

Eventually you reach Durward Street - an obviously poor, tight street which boasts only a few ramshackle houses and a horse slaughtering business at one end - Harrison, Barber & Co. It is perhaps a blessing that the cold, damp air quenches most of the smell that this premises likely generates in the heat of the Summer.

You find number five with some difficulty as the local residents are clearly not fastidious in ensuring their premises are well identified. Reaching the correct address a small tin plate, next to a large door knocker, on the outside names it as "Grim's Boarding House". Of Professor Smith there is no sign...




OOC: The game begins! For simplicity sake just assume that you arrive in the order you get around to posting.
Professor Harold Worth
 player, 4 posts
Sun 29 Oct 2017
at 13:21
London 1 - Durward Street, Whitechapel
Professor Worth had not long arrived home from the vespers service at St Pancras to his small but well-furnished apartment on 15 Platt St, Kings Cross. Within walking distance of the University and the National Library, it suited his tastes well enough. He had just stoked the fire and settled into his comfortable chair to continue looking over one student's report regarding recent discoveries in Western France and connections in occultic and spiritual symbolisms with that of Norse mythology, when he was rudely interupted by a knock at the door. At first he had ignored it and gone on reading, but when whoever it was had insisted to knock again. He called, "Yes... Coming..." He put on a certain air of clear annoyance in his voice, and really hoped it was something important.

When he opened the door, and he looked down to see the scruffy street urchin, and then he shoved forward his hand with a note, which having taken, the boy left without even a word of explanation, he slowly closed the door as with his attention divided somewhat as he attempted to read it at the same time, his eyes first took note of the signature at the bottom - Julius Smith.

Taking a seat at his desk, he looked more closely. "Am at 5 Durward Street, Whitechapel. For God's sake come quickly. Bring a gun - Julius Smith." The urgency of the meeting itself was a little alarming, especially with the request of a firearm. He couldn't imagine what may have been the matter. Smith had returned to London not quite a year ago, if he recalled. Meanwhile, Professor Worth himself had only returned a few months back from a pioneering dig in Cappadocia with the well-known French anthropologist Ernest Chantre, and he had kept up some correpsondence with Smith.

Having read the brief note, he folded it carefully and placed it into the pocket of his overcoat as he headed for the door. The weather was abysmal, and the air soupy with thick fog. He was glad at this hour to find the streets empty, as the walk from Kings Cross to Whitechapel was over an hour. Adding to that the difficulty with finding the particular apartment that he had indicated, it was just after midnight when he arrived.

Looking about, he could only assume, in spite of no sign of Smith, that this must be the place. Hopefully he had a fire alight inside, as the air outside had become awefully chilled and damp. He knocked the knocker and waited for a response.

OOC - I PMed the GM about the firearm situation, as I didn't see one on my inventory, in spite of Julius's request for one... Also I've taken some liberties to write a little verbosely to colour some of my character's background, and I did try to take careful note of what things Worth did know about Smith. Hopefully I haven't stuffed up anything too major if I got any of the details wrong... :)

This message was last edited by the player at 13:26, Sun 29 Oct 2017.

Dr Jean-Louis Saroch
 player, 4 posts
 Physician & Surgeon
Sun 29 Oct 2017
at 14:15
London 1 - Durward Street, Whitechapel
Alan tapped at the study door and entered: "A note brought be a waif, not an especially clean one." Said note was pinched between two fingers and held at arm's length. Dr Saroch's valet was very fastidious.

The doctor laid aside Zola's most recent work and accepted the slip of paper.

At 5 Durward Street, Whitechapel. For God's sake come quickly. Bring a gun - Julius Smith

"Have we a firearm in the house, Alan? No? Then I shall rely on my stick. Summon a hack, please." Smith was a patient as well as a friend from the Oriental Club, his oath precluded anything other than an immediate response to the summons, though he wondered why his friend was in Whitechapel, rather than at his home in St John's Wood.

In his bedroom, Saroch laid aside his dressing gown and donned his coat, checking the pockets for his needful possessions before descending to the ground floor. Alan was waiting with his overcoat, gloves, and hat.

"I think my medical bag as well, Alan. If firearms are wanted, there may be need of medical attention."

When the cab arrived, Saroch boarded it, giving the address and settling back for the short drive. He could have walked, but the night was miserable. Besides, once away from his own patch, he found the London streets confusing.


Twenty minutes later, he alights from the cab at the head of Durward Street, choosing not to have the man wait. Gripping his stick tightly, he enters the run-down lane, seeking out number 5. Ahead of him, another figure peers at each building.

This message was last edited by the player at 14:13, Mon 30 Oct 2017.

Amelia Meadowcroft
 player, 2 posts
Tue 31 Oct 2017
at 21:15
London 1 - Durward Street, Whitechapel
The message had come as a relief, god bless the little urchin for how far he must of ran to find her, no doubt seeking her out at home first. There she was, trapped in an uninteresting restaurant listening to suitor number 3 blather on about his business interests and how all they could see would soon be his, when her saviour had scampered in. How he had managed to dodge the maître-dee was beyond her but he had managed to stuff the sliver of paper into her hand before being dragged away. A quick glance was all it took for her to know that this, whatever this was, was far more interesting than...well anything that had happened since she had arrived at this dreary city. Better yet, it was an excuse.

“Excuse me...” She said whilst standing but paused realising she had absolutely no idea what his name was. She was sure he had mentioned it when they exchanged pleasant greetings but that felt like a life time ago now.

“Bugger” She muttered, but her polite indifference had worn thin and her mouth already hurt from holding a fake smile. “Sorry, there is something I must attend to and...well you are just so terribly boring.” And with that she had left him staring in mild horror and grabbed the first cab she could find to Whitechapel. She re-read the message as best she could whilst fishing her revolver from her bag and fastening the holster around her shoulder. It had been a long time since she had heard from Prof. Smith and the message and local reeked of danger. But the reliable weight of her pistol resting against her side was reassuring as she watched the street lamps pass by in the darkness.

Her confidence lasted about 3 feet from the cab's door when it pulled away and rattled off leaving her alone in the dark. She was not adverse to risk but she was acutely aware that she was out of place here. Whitechapel was like a different world from the London she had been wading through the last couple of months. It was dark, dirty and danger radiated off every shadowy alleyway. She remembered, cursing herself all the while, that it had only been some 5 years prior that the Ripper had stalked these streets. How much more thrilling the story had sounded in her father's papers far from here...

On edge despite telling herself over and over that it was just a city filled with normal people she hurried along the street, looking for any indication of her destination and swearing silently about the impracticality of her dress. It wasn't long before she made out a figure, or maybe two, through the fog. One hand slipped cautiously into her over coat to grip her revolver loosely as she slowly approached.
Dr Jean-Louis Saroch
 player, 6 posts
 Physician & Surgeon
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 02:13
London 1 - Durward Street, Whitechapel
Saroch turns at the sound of another cab at the end of Durward Street. Cabs clearly cannot be common in this neighbourhood at this time of night.

He watches a figure approach along the lane, rather surprised when he can discern that it is a woman approaching, and not a lower class denizen of this vicinity, but --judging from her clothes-- a woman of the upper classes.

"Are you in need of assistance, madame?" he asks as she nears, "I am a physician."
GM
 GM, 19 posts
Sat 4 Nov 2017
at 11:38
London 1 - Durward Street, Whitechapel
Suddenly you hear footsteps behind the door and it swings open with a creak to reveal the figure of your old friend, Julius Smith. He looks agitated and his face, unusually for him, is creased into a frown. He greets you all with a short nod and then beckons you inside.


The interior of the building is dark, lit with a flickering light only by a few candles. Just ahead of you Smith converses quietly with a formidable looking elderly lady, no doubt the proprietor, and presses some money into her hand. She casts an appraising gaze over the three  of you as you follow Smith upstairs, him still not having said a word to you.

You tread carefully up the narrow stairs of soft, rotten boards and find yourselves on a landing with three small rooms leading from it. Smith leads you towards the closest door and you are immediately assaulted by a terrible stench coming from it – something between fish offal and rotting meat.

Opening the door Smith leads you into the room. Two candles in wooden candlesticks on a pair of  side tables are the only illumination for the sinister tableau which greets you. Most of the room is unremarkable – a grubby window overlooks the street you have just come in from and there is a small wooden chair in a corner currently occupied by a smartly dressed figure in a travelling cloak. Scraps of leftover food lie on a number of plates spread around the room and there are a number of crumpled and discarded pieces of paper across the floor.

However, the room is dominated by a small, sagging bed on which lies the wasted body of a man. The body looks ancient and withered, naked except for stained smallclothes. Incongruously he appears to be wearing a fez upon his head. The stench appears to be emanating from the man, or at least the rancid bedclothes beneath him. For a second you think it's a corpse but then a slight groan escapes the man's lips to tell you he is still alive, though barely.


As you enter the man in the chair rises to greet you and Smith closes the door behind, finally speaking to you for the first time.
“This, my friends, is Dr Hobbs” he says gesturing to the cloaked man “and this” gesturing to the figure on the bed “is what I wanted you to see”.

OOC: Any characters who have yet to post - fear not. You can still join in, just assume that when you arrive Mrs Grim lets you in and shows you up to room.
Professor Harold Worth
 player, 8 posts
Sun 5 Nov 2017
at 03:08
London 1 - Durward Street, Whitechapel
A little surprised by the arrival of Dr Jean-Louis Saroch and young Amelia, at least it did extenuate somewhat the feeling of loneliness and fear that had previously surrounded Smith's mysterious summons. It seems that this was not just a meeting for two, but he had called others besides. Who knows if maybe there were others expected besides. Julius didn't give any indicator either way, nor in fact had he at first spoken even a word, as he led the group through the house to the apartment upstairs.

The reek as they entered the room was mildly unpleasant, though to be expected possibly from one so old and in such a decrepit state as the man appeared to be. The Professor started a little as Smith turned their attention to the other gentlemen in the fez, a certain recollection from the street troubling his thoughts a little. But obviously Hobbes and Smith were acquainted, and it seemed that it was this man that Smith had called them to be introduced to.

He stretched out his hand to greet the man, "Dr Hobbs, Professor Worth, I can only presume you are a medical doctor and here to serve this man as your patient?"
Amelia Meadowcroft
 player, 4 posts
Tue 7 Nov 2017
at 21:34
London 1 - Durward Street, Whitechapel
As she moved nearer she saw that it was two men who stood in the street and, more so, they did not appear to be the sort she had expected given the local. Yet, when one addressed her, she still jumped slightly. But it was not the confusing talk of the street but an educated, sophisticated voice that did much to put her at ease.

"Madame? Mademoiselle I should think." She quipped back, reacting on instinct before thinking that such a comment would sound quite foolish as last words if she had just had the pleasure of meeting a dangerous killer.

"Sorry. I am a little lost, I am looking for number 5." She manages, a little meekly in comparison to her last outburst. But it seemed that her quandary was to be short lived when the closest door was opened and by Prof. Smith no less.

She let the men enter first, not exactly protocol but this hardly seemed like the time for strict manners and besides, it kept them all in view and her nerves were still frayed. It was halfway up the stairs that she realised her hand was still on the revolver and she quickly withdrew it feeling a little foolish. Now that she was inside the dangers of the street seemed far away and a lot less real.

One gloved hand shoots up to cover her nose and mouth as they reach the room in futile attempt to ward off the smell. She glanced around the small room before letting her gaze fall on the man in the bed. Silent for now she stands off to one side wondering why Prof. Smith has brought them here to watch the last moments of a very ill looking man and why no-one had removed the poor fellows hat.
Dr Jean-Louis Saroch
 player, 8 posts
 Physician & Surgeon
Fri 10 Nov 2017
at 23:31
London 1 - Durward Street, Whitechapel
Saroch gives the figure in the bed a quick glance, then advances on the attending physician.

"I am Jean-Louis Saroch of St Bartolomew Hospital Dr Hobbs, he says in a firm voice. Then more quietly he asks, "With what are we dealing here, Doctor?"
GM
 GM, 21 posts
Sat 11 Nov 2017
at 10:59
London 1 - Durward Street, Whitechapel
The man introduced to you as Dr Hobbs responds in a deep educated voice, "I'm pleased to meet you - Professor Smith here speaks highly of you all. I'm Niels Hobbs, of the University College."

He walks closer to the man on the bed and gestures to Saroch, "I'm afraid I'm at something of a loss and a second opinion from a fellow medical man would be gratefully received. I'm not sure I've ever seen anything like this before. By all means see what you think."

As Dr Saroch takes a look at the man on the bed Smith speaks again, "Let me tell you what I know. Apparently there was some disturbances coming from this room and when the police arrived they found this scene. I was fetched from my home by the police earlier this evening as apparently this poor wretch, indicating the man on the bed "whispered my name just before he passed out. "

Hobbs picks up the story, "Yes, I occasionally assist the police with medical matters. As I understand it the landlady called the police as there had been some strange goings on in this room. The police found what you see now and called me. I sent them for Professor Smith when the patient gasped his name to me."

"Unfortunately," Smith cuts back in "our dedicated men of the Metropolitan Police Force have left as they do not feel there is anything here for them to assist with. Indeed, I think the smell may have had something to do with it. However, my friends, I would be very interested in what you make of all this. I have some suspicions but don't want to jump to any conclusions."
Dr Jean-Louis Saroch
 player, 9 posts
 Physician & Surgeon
Sat 11 Nov 2017
at 12:01
London 1 - Durward Street, Whitechapel
Saroch opens his medical bag and does a thorough, if quick, assessment of the man's condition. He is accustomed to the various odors that pertain to illness and does his best to ignore the stench.

[Dr Jean-Louis Saroch rolled 51 for Medicine 70%]
GM
 GM, 22 posts
Sun 12 Nov 2017
at 11:16
London 1 - Durward Street, Whitechapel
Saroch completes his medical examination of the man swiftly and efficiently. Interestingly you all note that the man's hat appears to be particularly well fixed to his head - despite his supine position and the ministrations of the good doctor the hat doesn't budge an inch from it's position almost as if it were fixed in place.

As the man is moved you also notice, with horror, something else. What you originally took to be flaps of loose skin and indentations in the withered body are leather straps tied around the wrists and ankles. This man has previously been tied to the bed...
Dr Jean-Louis Saroch
 player, 10 posts
 Physician & Surgeon
Sun 12 Nov 2017
at 13:27
London 1 - Durward Street, Whitechapel

Saroch removes his stethoscope and replaces it in his medical bag. He pours alcohol from a small bottle over his hands and wipes them on a clean towel, returning both to the bag.

He takes out a small notebook and a mechanical pencil. He turns to Dr Hobbs.

"What do we know of the man's background? Paricularly, his name and where he has recently travelled. Has he family or friends in London? And how did you come to be involved, Doctor?"
Professor Harold Worth
 player, 9 posts
Mon 13 Nov 2017
at 11:53
London 1 - Durward Street, Whitechapel
While Dr Saroch was examining the older gentlemen, Professor Worth listened in on Hobbs and Smith's explanation of the background behind what was before them in the room. He took special note of the fact that the landlady had called the police already due to some kind of strange occurrences in the room. "Do you think it would be beneficial for me, or possibly the young lady, to talk with the landlady about what these previous occurrences were that would have prompted her to approach the police?"
GM
 GM, 23 posts
Wed 15 Nov 2017
at 21:34
London 1 - Durward Street, Whitechapel
Dr Hobbs looks somewhat puzzled at Saroch's question,
"I was called by the police this evening when they found him. I'm afraid I know nothing about this man beyond what I've already told you and the fact that he's very sick."

Smith cuts in at this point,
"I have a suspicion that I know who this man is, given what we can see and that he used my name. But I cannot be right as that man is a student, a young fellow, and this man is clearly much older."

At the suggestion that somebody speaks to the landlady Smith nods sagely,
"That's a good idea Harold. I've spoken to her only briefly this evening and her story is an odd one. Mrs Grim keeps her own room on the ground floor, I've paid her well for her discretion and assistance tonight so she should be happy to answer any questions."


OOC: If anybody does go to speak to Mrs Grim you can assume that she answers the door to her personal rooms and is grumpy but ultimately willing to engage with you. Essentially that means you can go straight into questioning and don't have to first post that you go looking for her and wait for me to confirm you find her before moving things forwards.
Dr Jean-Louis Saroch
 player, 11 posts
 Physician & Surgeon
Mon 20 Nov 2017
at 14:46
Re: London 1 - Durward Street, Whitechapel
GM:
"I was called by the police this evening when they found him. I'm afraid I know nothing about this man beyond what I've already told you and the fact that he's very sick."

"I believe he should be in hospital and quarantined. Look here." The two medical men draw near the bed for a whispered consultation.

Turning to the others, he says, "I would like to have this room cleared, if you please, while Dr Hobbs and I attend to the patient."

This message was last edited by the player at 15:32, Wed 22 Nov 2017.

Professor Harold Worth
 player, 11 posts
Mon 20 Nov 2017
at 23:06
Re: London 1 - Durward Street, Whitechapel
Seeing as Dr Saroch urged the others to clear the room, Professor Worth headed out to see if he could find Mrs Grim and ask her about what previous circumstances with the room had been disturbing to her.
Amelia Meadowcroft
 player, 5 posts
Wed 22 Nov 2017
at 14:51
Re: London 1 - Durward Street, Whitechapel
Glad for any excuse to leave the room and its stench behind Amelia quickly exits to the landing to gather a few breaths of fresher air. Although originally intending to follow Prof. Worth down to question the landlady she hesitates as something comes to mind.

"Professor Smith?" She asks quietly.

"I...I can see that something is wrong here but I am confused as to why you have sent for me. These scholarly men might surely be able to shed some light on whatever..." She gestures to the room. "Whatever it is that is happening here. But I don't see what aid I could offer you in this endeavour."
GM
 GM, 25 posts
Wed 22 Nov 2017
at 21:46
Re: London 1 - Durward Street, Whitechapel
At Dr Saroch's request the rest of you, accompanied by Professor Smith, file out onto the landing leaving the medical men to their business. Professor Worth heads downstairs but Amelia speaks to Smith while they remain on the landing.

Smith smiles warmly before he responds to her question, “My dearest Amelia you may not have the scholarly background that these other gentleman have but I know from personal experience that you are no dullard. As to the particular assistance you can give here? I think there is something very strange afoot and you have seen more of the world than half of London added together. There's more things in heaven and earth and all that and you may know something from your experiences that no amount of book learning could have taught the rest of us.”

Downstairs Mrs Grim, once reminded that she has already been paid for information, provides a grumpy overview to Professor Worth of the recent goings-on in her boarding house. Four days ago a “proper gent” provided her with a “very reasonable” sum for the use of her room which she readily accepted. However, later that day several “foreigners” dragged a semi conscious man into the room and locked the door. Apparently this isn't as strange in this part of London as you might expect and neither Mrs Grim nor any other tenant sought to raise the alarm. On the second night strange whispering noises seemed to be coming from the room and the lighting seemed to be playing up. On the third night somebody in the room began shrieking and thumping which scared off any other paying guests. At this point the “proper gent” returned and offered her a considerable further sum as compensation. He claimed he had his brother up there and was trying to cure him of an addition to laudanum. By this evening, however, there were shrieks of agony and it sounded “as if the devil himself were up there”. At this point Mrs Grim went to summon the police and they found the scene upstairs – everyone else appearing to have fled.

Inside the room Drs Saroch and Hobbs discuss the best way to proceed. Agreeing that the fez needs to be removed and, confirming with a gentle nudge that it will not come away in the normal fashion, Hobbs agrees to proceed surgically. Withdrawing a fine scalpel he moves it towards the headwear but no sooner does it touch the material does the man on the bed give a huge convulsion and emits a tortured death rattle from deep in his throat. As he sinks back into the bed the fez drops from his head and rolls onto the floor – an indented ring of raw flesh the only sign it was ever affixed to his scalp. At the same time all the candles in the room go out, plunging the room into near pitch blackness.

Dr Saroch can hear Hobbs scrabbling around near the bed and muttering, “I was sure I had a lucifer in here...” before there is a sudden flurry of activity in the inky blackness and one blood curdling scream which is audible throughout the building...
Dr Jean-Louis Saroch
 player, 12 posts
 Physician & Surgeon
Thu 23 Nov 2017
at 13:59
Re: London 1 - Durward Street, Whitechapel
Saroch is putting a bottle of alcohol he had used to sterilise his hands and those of Dr Hobbs, as well as the scalpel, when the candles blow out. One hand is searching blindly for a candle he keeps in his bag, the other is on the match case he carries in his vest pocket, when the scream rings out.

[I presume the scream is in this room.]

The doctor backs away from the sound until his back is against something -- wall or door, doesn't matter. His bag is clutched in his right hand.

"Dr Hobbs! Is it well with you?" he says, a bit too loudly, perhaps.

He flicks his thumbnail across a match, igniting it with a practised gesture. He raises the match high in the air to illuminate the room.

This message was last edited by the player at 14:01, Thu 23 Nov 2017.

Professor Harold Worth
 player, 12 posts
Thu 23 Nov 2017
at 23:57
Re: London 1 - Durward Street, Whitechapel
Hearing the scream suddenly from the room, the Professor rushes back towards the room to see what is going on...
Amelia Meadowcroft
 player, 6 posts
Tue 28 Nov 2017
at 09:48
Re: London 1 - Durward Street, Whitechapel
Amelia's brow furrows slightly as she gives Prof. Smith an appraising look, not quite happy with that response.

"That really just provokes more questions than it provides an answer." She said a little curtly but then sighs and smiles. "Still, your summons couldn't of come at a better time. I'm half minded to call it even for Bulgaria."

When they are interrupted by the scream Amelia baulks, taking a step back and reaching for her revolver. Drawing it from her coat she approaches the door slowly, making sure Smith is behind her, and peers into the darkness. Starting slightly when Prof. Worth rushes up to the landing she turns her attention back to the dim entryway.

"Doctors?" She says quietly, almost a whisper.
GM
 GM, 26 posts
Wed 29 Nov 2017
at 21:18
Re: London 1 - Durward Street, Whitechapel
As Professor Worth thunders up the stairs and Amelia approaches the door with weapon drawn Saroch manages to light his match and hold it aloft. In the tiny flickering light Saroch can make out two shapes struggling in the corner of the room by the bed where just Dr Hobbs was standing only moments before. The two shapes seem to be clutched together and face-to-face as if in a lovers' embrace.

As the door bursts open with the entrance of Worth and Amelia the room is washed with light from the landing and the full, horrible truth is revealed. In the corner of the room Dr Hobbs writhes in the clutches of the man from the bed - his emaciated form now risen from the dirty mattress and is clawing at Hobbs with its hands whilst tearing frenziedly at the doctor's face with it's teeth.

As you enter the thing, for it could no longer now be considered a man, turns it's head slowly to face you. The raw skin of it's head has swollen and been pulled upwards in a twisted mockery of it's former headwear and this has pulled and distended the features of the face into a perpetual, silent scream.

With the creature distracted by your entrance Hobbs manages to pull free and falls to the floor behind the bed, groaning and clutching at the ruins of his face. The thing ignores him and turns fully to face you. As it does so its tongue rolls out of its mouth - as long as a necktie and frayed at the end into several sharpened barbs like a scourge. Emitting a hiss it advances towards you...
Professor Harold Worth
 player, 13 posts
Fri 1 Dec 2017
at 09:02
Re: London 1 - Durward Street, Whitechapel
For a moment the Professor is stunned in shock at the horror before his eyes. He had seen a lot of things in his life, but nothing like this. Then a moment later, he is gripped by an instinct from the depths of his guts to fly. Not really paying attention to anything around him, he rushes from the room, pushing past whoever stands in his way...
Dr Jean-Louis Saroch
 player, 13 posts
 Physician & Surgeon
Fri 1 Dec 2017
at 12:28
Re: London 1 - Durward Street, Whitechapel
"Nom de Dieu!" the doctor cries out, dropping the match.

He slides along the wall toward the door and the light, raising his leather medical bag in both hands as a shield between him and the... the abomination.